Manufacturer Sound Devices has revised its MixPre digital recorders. The MixPre-3 II, MixPre-6 II, and MixPre-10 II receive spec and functionality bumps like 32-bit audio engines, internal timecode generators, and adjustable limiters among other things.
MixPre-10 II, the flagship model, has eight mic preamps and is capable of recording up to 12 tracks on SD cards and USB drives, at sample rates up to 192kHz. It runs on battery power (8x AA batteries or Sony L-mount cells), AC power, and USB-C bus power. The unit can interface with cameras, computers and control surfaces with timecode I/O, USB-C and USB-A connectors. It’s also able to trigger timecode and record via HDMI. Metering and control is provided via color touchscreen and LED meters. You can also run a pair of “plug-ins” on the recorder itself. There’s one for Ambisonics recording, which is free, and another which turns the touchscreen into a simplified DAW. It costs USD 50.
Packing serious recording and interfacing power into these durable and portable units, Sound Devices shows it’s serious about building high-end audio recorders for filmmaking. The prices are arguably saner while product quality is formidable. Still, these boxes don’t come cheap and will serve their best in a professional filmmaking or outdoor recording setup rather than music production. With arch rivals Zoom and Tascam in a perpetual race to serve the lower end of the market, the market for portastudios and field recorders offers much cheaper, but no less capable products. Notably, Zoom’s Livetrak recorders and Tascam’s DP series make it immensely difficult for smaller manufacturers (or even Roland-owned BOSS) to make a dent in the biz.
Price and availability
The new MixPres are available immediately and start at EUR 769 for the MixPre-3 II. Basically, the more money you are ready to throw, the more I/O you get. Sound Devices keeps the core functionality consistent between the three models, so you won’t be buying the MixPre-3 II only for its limitations to upsell you to a more expensive model.
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